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Thursday 17 January 2019

Timely change in outlook for Rory

RORY MCILROY’s first field trip as UNICEF Ireland’s new sporting ambassador hardly could have come at a better time for the 22- year-old as he makes his final preparations for this week’s US Open at Congressional.

After all, this is the young Ulsterman’s first major championship since April’s finalday implosion at the US Masters.

Yet McIlroy’s meltdown at Augusta National was nowhere near as stunning as the dignity of his response to the most painful setback of his young life.

In Haiti he witnessed “stuff I never thought I’d see in my life”.

He admitted the whole experience would change the way he thinks.

McIlroy’s profile as one of the brightest stars in world golf has been underscored by the call to place him in a marquee group in next Thursday’s first round with American icon Phil Mickelson and another hugely famous US Open fall-guy, Dustin Johnson.

The world of golf will be especially interested to see how McIlroy performs. Pressure? Certainly not alongside the grim daily battle for survival McIlroy witnessed in Haiti last week. He could not have asked for a more timely change in perspective.

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